Alzheimer’s Care: Why you should encourage old people to play memory games

The idea of getting Alzheimer’s Disease seems a terrible thought for anyone whose parents have already reached the age of 60. Even for young ones like us, the idea of completely forgetting your relatives or friends for the rest of your senior life is a total nightmare. While we try to keep our parents and ourselves healthy, science and medicine have not yet discovered the reason as to why Alzheimer’s disease suddenly appear in a human being. And since there’s no exact origin, there is no cure yet for this dreaded disease.

However, if you know anyone whose suffering from Alzheimer’s or if your grandparents or parents have the dreaded disease, there’s no need to despair. It’s been proven that senior citizens with Alzheimer’s can still live normal lives by living healthy. Not just physically though, but mentally too. In one of the hospitals where I used to work in, patients with Alzheimer’s are encouraged to play memory games. Now, you may think that this is useless, but it’s been proven that senior citizens who play memory games tend to have sharper mental capabilities compared to those who just sit around and do nothing. Also, it’s a fun way of getting together with your loved one, even if he/she has Alzheimer’s disease.

By the way, memory games are not just great for old people with Alzheimer’s disease. It is also important for senior citizens and even teenagers and kids to start playing with memory games in order to sharpen their hand-eye coordination and memory efficiency. If you have no idea what types of memory games that you would like to get for your old parents or grandparents, then here are a few memory games and puzzles that you might want to get for them.

1. Big Jigsaw Puzzles – Jigsaw puzzles are, by far, the easiest memory game that you can get for an old patient. However, it’s also important to consider the size of the jigsaw puzzle. Most old people can no longer see clearly, so giving them small bits of puzzle is a problem. There are tons of big jigsaw puzzles available and they come in all sorts of designs and themes. Pick one that the patient will enjoy and he/she will happily start putting the pieces back together when there’s nothing to do.

2. Board games – Board games like chess, Monopoly and others are great ways to help old people bring their old minds young again. In fact, I remembered a good friend of mine who loved challenging his old man in a game of chess. Whenever they have a disagreement, instead of fighting and arguing about the whole thing, they’d settle it with a friendly game of chess. His old dad is already 80 years old but his mind is as sharp as ever. With board games like these, old patients who have Alzheimer’s disease will not feel so bored or depressed when they need to stay inside the hospital or a senior care facility. The same holds true for senior patients who are living in their homes.

3. Rubik’s cube – The good old Rubik’s cube is another item that you may want to give to an old patient with Alzheimer’s. It’s a good way to exercise fast thinking and a perfect boredom breaker. However, choose one that does not break easily; there are lots of cubes that are poorly made and these items break easily. I always give most of the elderly patients a good Rubik’s cube when I see them not doing anything.

These items are just a few of the many memory games that you can choose for your elderly parents or grandparents. And if you want to go digital, there are memory game applications that you can install in your elderly parent’s smart phones.

About the Author:

Jessica Greenberg is a caregiver from San Diego, California. She believes in the importance of learning about various medical alert systems and good port protectors for anyone who wishes to start a career in care-giving.

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